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CCSA Racers Excel in Classic Race at Mount Itasca

Sun, Jan  21, 2007 - By Matias Saari, CCSA

Cross-country skiers from the Central Collegiate Ski Association filled nearly half of the top 20 spots in men’s and women’s classic NorAm SuperTour races on Saturday at Mount Itasca in Coleraine, Minn.

Led by a fifth-place finish from Aurelia Korthauer of the Alaska Nanooks, the CCSA put 11 women among the top 20, including Kristina Owen of Michigan Tech (seventh), Maria Stuber of Northern Michigan (ninth), and Linn Dale from St. Olaf College (10th).

Korthauer strided the 5-kilometer classic course in 14 minutes, 58.3 seconds to finish as the top college racer. The sophomore from Bonndorf, Germany, was 34 seconds behind race winner Kate Whitcomb of team FSX in the interval start race.

Other top CCSA finishes included Kelly Ahern of NMU (11th), Elizabeth Quinley from MTU (12th), Julia Coulter of Alaska (14th), Paula Daabach of Alaska (15th) and Anna Bergland from NMU (16th).
Among those not racing this weekend are NMU Olympians Lindsey Weier and Lindsay Williams, who have instead traveled to Italy for the upcoming

Under-23 World Cross Country Ski Championships

In the men’s race, Alaska’s Vahur Teppan (Tartu, Estonia) and Marius Korthauer (Bonndorf, Germany) tied for third place in 25:19.8, a deadlock virtually unheard of in races timed to the tenth of a second.

“It’s pretty rare,” said Nanooks’ coach Scott Jerome. “It’s even more rare among teammates. I couldn’t believe it.”

Teppan, a classic specialist, was also surprised. “We are really good friends,” Teppan said. “We were both happy for each other.” The duo finished just 2.4 seconds behind race runnerup Zachary Violett of FSX. Korthauer may have taken second but for a stumble 300 meters from the finish that he estimated cost him four seconds.

Olympian Lars Flora of the Subaru Factory Team handily claimed the men’s race in 24:37. Other top 25 results from CCSA men included Phil Violett of NMU (16th), Jesse Lang of Michigan Tech (18th), Bill Bowler of NMU (19th), Martin Banerud from NMU (20th), Henri Soom of Alaska (21st), Aaron Ditty from MTU
(23rd) and NMU’s Justin Singleton (25th). A total of 140 men and 89 women finished the race.

Temperatures for the beginning of the men’s race were around a chilly zero degrees but warmed into the high-teens for the women’s event. Stable snow and consistent temperatures allowed for a simple day of waxing, said Jerome.

The schedule on Sunday calls for interval-start freestyle races of 10 kilometers for women and 15K for men. With minimal snow in the area this winter, only a 2.5-kilometer racing course has been prepared, meaning on Sunday the women will make four loops and the men six, a set-up sure to create some chaos.

The NorAm SuperTour is a domestic series of races that is attended by many of America’s top skiers, including the U.S. Ski Team, various regional development teams and top collegians. The field at Mount Itasca was less competitive than the one at the recent U.S. Nationals because some of the elite skiers have traveled to Europe to compete.

Complete results from the Mount Itasca races, as well as a results breakdown of CCSA-only skiers, can be found at www.ccsaski.com.

The CCSA consists of three schools from Michigan, two from Wisconsin, six from Minnesota and one from Alaska.